Tag Archives: motorcycle surfboard rack

Parking, Getting On and Getting Off

2 Jun

From this angle you can probably figure out the challenges of parking, mounting and dismounting.

You may recall that I shortened the kickstand about 1/2″ as the DR650 not only stands too straight up, but it has a soft suspension, so when weighted with the suspension compressed it stands even more straight. Shortening the kickstand increased the lean to the left, keeping the bike from teetering and making mounting and dismounting easier.

Easier may not be the right word. Possible is more like it.

In this shot you can start to see a few of the challenges – the narrow sitting space (not as big of a problem as it seems here), the rear luggage preventing me from mounting the bike by swinging a leg over the rear, and the surfboard further limiting mounting space. What you can’t see is that with the weight of the baggage, the bike is near teetering, so I always had to find parking that sloped slightly downhill to the left, to add lean.

Parked on the right ground, mounting and dismounting can begin. See that duct tape on the seat? That’s not a repair. It’s there to prevent scratching or tearing. To mount, I needed to lift my (heavily booted) right leg onto the seat, then slide it down into the space between the surfboard and the bike, aiming to plant my foot on the ground. I needed to do this in one smooth motion, because as I slipped onto the bike the bike would move more upright, the suspension would compress more, and momentum would push the lean to the right side, so my foot had to get planted quickly. So it was a 2-step deal: Lift right boot onto seat, then slip over and plant right foot solidly on the ground.

(One time I found myself without a landing place for my right foot. I was at the Oasis Motel in Loreto and had parked on the walkway in front of my room, which was narrow and raised, so there was a drop-off where my right foot was to land. Narrowly saved! Had I failed, everything would have toppled onto my surfboard and rack, and that’s for another post.)

Dismounting was just as strange, perhaps stranger. First, stand on pegs, weighting on the left. Second, lift right boot up and onto the seat, so I was now standing with one foot on the left peg and the other on the seat. Third, pull right boot up off the seat and onto the ground. Remove left foot. Why not one smooth motion? The distance between the pegs and the seat combined with the bulk of a solid off-road boot (Moose Racing M1 boot – great value for an excellent, heavy-duty boot) made it near impossible to complete that move in one step without dragging the boot across the seat, risking tears from the boot sole. Also, this was a good test of the stability of the parking spot.

Sounds like a lot of work, and it was at first, but you get the hang of it. The toughest part was the first time I did it, which was when I pulled the fully-loaded bike out of my garage into the alley and fired her up for the trip. No practice run, so I wasn’t even sure if I could get on and off the bike! I was already sweating as I pulled away. The adventure started right then and there.

Test Run

6 Mar

I loaded up a 6’8″ in a canvas Julie Bag for a test ride. I cruised on up the the newly opened Deus Ex Machina on Venice and Lincoln to show the crew there what they had helped inspire. (There was an article on Deus in The Surfers Journal that showed one of their surf rack modified bikes.) I was surprised at the reaction. The moment I pulled up they all piled out to check it out. I showed them around the bike, making lame excuses for my prototype PVC mount for the front, but they seemed pretty stoked. They took some photos. Much better than this one of the DR back in my little garage, board in rack. How did it work. Excellent-ly. 😉

Yes, bad photo. But this isn't the right board bag, so the good shots will come later. You can see the PVC poking out under the nose. That's been painted black. The bungie up front attached to a tie wrap that goes through a small but convenient hole in the frame behind the triple clamp.

Board Support Up Front

6 Mar

A big concern has been how to support the front of the board and to keep it from hitting the front wheel or fender when turning, and to make sure it doesn’t get caught on the front brake cable. Since the racks are on the rear, they are only holding the back third of the surfboard, so wind and bumps will cause the front of the board to move around. Probably a lot. The DR650es has an oil cooler with a frame extension for protection. It’s a perfect place to mount some sort of stabilizer. For now, and maybe forever, I cobbled together a support piece out of PVC. Here’s the piece for mounting to the frame.

What's difficult to see here is how I cut the PVC to mount onto the frame tube.

Yes, working at night. I ended up putting a piece of neoprene between the PVC and the frame tube to keep the PVC from cracking and to give some shock absorption. Hose clamps are used to secure.

 

Carver Surf Racks

6 Mar

OK, down to the good stuff: Surf racks on a motorcycle. I checked Deus Ex Machina rack, but you can’t buy it without buying the motorcycle attached to it, and at this point they’re only doing street bikes. I also checked out the Surfer Peg rack, but again, it’s street oriented, and needs to attach to the frame. That’s not inherently bad, but it would require fabrication that I’m not quite interested in. Primarily, though, it’s the street focus that steered me away. I settled on the Carver Racks, even though they’re not for motorcycles – bicycles and scooters, but not motorcycles. What I liked, though, is that it could be bolted to the rear rack.

When putting the racks together I encountered a small problem: The rubber tubes were too long, so the pieces wouldn’t fit together without a bit of cutting. I called the guys at Carver in Hawaii. They were a bit surprised, but were good with the mod.